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We’ve all been there. You find the right office space, you move in, and you’re ultimately excited to grow and expand your business from your new corporate center. You promise yourself that you’re going to remain organized and run your Metro South area business more efficiently. You start running full-speed ahead with your business efforts, excited to share your new office with the world.

Fast forward to three months later. You managed to remain organized in the beginning, but now, it’s a mess. You’re having a difficult time keeping track of all of your files and paperwork, and it’s starting to slow you down. As your commercial real estate agent for Boston’s Metro South Area, I’ve seen this scenario happen many times. The key is to sit down, regroup and get yourself organized. It’s normal to allow yourself to get a bit disarrayed from time to time, but you need to know when to reel yourself in and come up with a system. Here are ten tips that should help you accomplish that:

1.    Don’t print too many papers. Our email inboxes are brimming with more information every day, so it’s only natural that you’d want to print certain emails to ensure that you stay organized. The important thing to remember is not to print EVERY email. Learn to distinguish what is important and needs to be printed and what you can save in your email folder.
2.    Keep your papers organized. You can control how much paper is being printed, but that doesn’t stop you from having a pile start to grow on your desk. Come up with a filing system that will allow you to keep everything organized. That way, if you need a certain document, you know where to find it quickly and efficiently.
3.    Once you come up with a system, stick to it. Putting an organization system into place is all well and good, but if you lose sight of it on a regular basis, it won’t work for you. Studies show that it takes between 21-31 days to form a habit. For the first month after you come up with a system, do it consistently and make it a habit. If you do that, you won’t disregard the system after putting it into place.
4.    Limit your knickknacks. Okay, we all like to have some pictures and personal touches to make our desk feel a little homier, but having too many of them can create clutter and will leave more room for chaos. Keep some of your personal items, but also be aware of when you need to pick and choose.
5.    Don’t use Post-Its. Between iCalendars and technology tablets and planners, you don’t always need to use post-its for your reminders. They tend to fall off your desk and add more clutter and mess to the equation. These are really only beneficial now for marking documents, so save yourself the hassle and use what technology has to offer you.
6.    Keep a datebook. Whether it’s a computer calendar, iPad or old-school day-planner, keep track of all of your important meetings and appointments in one place. This will keep you professional, organized, and less stressed. It will also keep you from double-booking, a clear sign of disorganization.
7.    Get rid of supplies you don’t use. You can find yourself reaching for a pen and realize that 90% of the ones on your desk don’t work. It’s time to throw these away. Only keep the office supplies on your desk that are functional and useful for your day. This will help you minimize clutter.
8.    Steer clear of promotional “freebies.” I think that at one point or another, we’ve all been guilty of taking the promotional pens, notebooks and mouse pads offered at job fairs or seminars in order to use them in our office. If you don’t have to buy it, why not take it? In reality, these items tend to go unused, so in order to maximize office space, refrain from the temptation of taking them.
9.    Keep all personal items in one place. Your phone, wallet and keys should all be in one designated place on your desk.  That way, if you need to go into break-mode for a few minutes, you can easily access it and go about your day. It also keeps clutter down to a minimum.
10.    Don’t eat at your desk. We all do it, and small snacks are fine, but eating too much at your desk can create a messy work area with a buildup of trash surrounding it. It can also produce stains on the carpet, which looks unprofessional. Step away from your desk at mealtimes and enjoy an environment away from the office. It will be better for your sanity in the long run.

If you follow these ten tips that I’ve listed above, I think that you’ll find your office to be more organized and efficient, and you can make much better use of your Metro South area office space. As a commercial real estate agent in the Metro South area, I work with many small businesses who aim to expand and grow their company through a new space. These organization tips should help you accomplish those goals.

If you are looking for a new office space in Boston’s Metro South area, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d be happy to help you in any way I can. I hope to hear from you soon!